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Natural Awakenings Metro Phoenix & Northern Arizona

Maintaining Digestive Health is Key to Wellness: Improper digestion can lead to poor digestion of nutrients, says Dr. Jim Handzel

Apr 30, 2014 10:11AM ● By Dr. Jim Handzel

A key factor in achieving optimum wellness and health is a properly functioning gastrointestinal (GI) or digestive system. Any program or attempt to maintain optimum health can be completely undermined by a poorly functioning GI tract. Improper digestion leads to poor absorption of nutrients and constant irritation of the GI lining, which can result in nutritional deficiencies that may or may not be expressed by outward symptoms for years until significant illness and disease are present.

Hidden subclinical GI tract problems can interfere with proper digestion. Gluten, found in grains like wheat, rye, barley and hops, causes inflammation, and that is why it has had much so publicity. Other common foods that can cause sensitivity reactions include dairy, eggs, tomatoes and corn. Inflammatory reactions from ingesting these foods in someone that is intolerant may cause joint pain, arthritic conditions, skin problems, bloating, swelling, gas and indigestion.

Our stomach utilizes two substances for breaking food down: enzymes and acid. With the intake of poor food choices such as processed, packaged foods, trans fats, fried and fast foods, our ability to produce digestive enzymes decreases significantly. Low enzyme and low acid production provide the opportunity for harmful organisms like yeast, parasites and bad bacteria to proliferate.

Dr. Jim Handzel focuses on chiropractic care and functional medicine at Mind, Body and Flow, in Chandler. For more information, phone 480-782-6566 or visit

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